Heat Check: Hassan Whiteside’s big night not enough to stave off loss
MIAMI — It was the Hassan Whiteside show early on Friday night, but the Dallas Mavericks turned the game around in a big way during the second half to defeat the Miami Heat 93-72 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Whiteside made his mark early, with 10 rebounds to his name just four minutes into the game. Both teams shot very poorly in the first half, combining to shoot barely over 20 percent midway through the second quarter.
The ball was a magnet for Whiteside, and he had 12 points and 16 rebounds at the half before finishing with 16 points and 24 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Miami had its biggest lead of the night at 16 early in the second half, which the Mavericks erased by the end of the third quarter to tie the score at 60. The Heat’s shooting struggles didn’t end in the fourth quarter, though, and the Mavericks continued their torrid shooting to turn the game into a blowout. The Heat went scoreless for more than eight minutes until rookie Tyler Johnson scored on a floater with seven minutes left.
Chris Bosh struggled from the field with 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting, and he failed to lead his team in the absence of starters Dwyane Wade (hamstring strain) and Luol Deng (calf strain). Norris Cole, Danny Granger, Shawne Williams and Mario Chalmers combined for 5-of-33 shooting.
"We didn’t make plays, plain and simple," Bosh said. "You have to figure Dallas is a good team and that they’re going to go on a run. We kind of went back to what we’re known for, which is forgetting everything as soon as the game gets a little tight. Our execution just went out the window."
The Heat led 60-51 with 3:12 left in the third quarter. The Mavericks outscored them 42-12 the rest of the way.
THE TURNING POINT
Dallas scored 23 straight points through the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth to open up a 14-point lead and take control of the game.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Mavericks forward Charlie Villanueva came off the bench to score 20 points to lead his team while knocking down six 3-pointers. He scored 14 points in the second half.
"He’s awesome," guard J.J. Barea said. "He’s a great shooter. He’s had his games this year that he’s helped us a lot and tonight was big. He was huge with his confidence. He knows that everybody believes in him. The coaches believed in him and he stepped out there and made some great shots."
STAT OF THE GAME
Whiteside’s 14 rebounds in the first quarter set a Heat record for most rebounds in any quarter, beating Isaac Austin’s record of 13 in 1997. His 16 first-half rebounds tied the franchise mark for most in the first half.
The Heat visit the Boston Celtics on Sunday at 1 p.m.